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A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Getting Inspired by the Classics: Van Gogh's Landscape at Saint Remy

It's funny how the more I paint furniture, the more I'm influenced by art and color. I find inspiration in all sorts of places, but I completely forgot how museums are such a brilliant resource for color.  At my recent trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I took HUNDREDS of photos of pieces that inspired me.  Of course, I was naturally drawn to Vincent van Gogh.  I get lost in the movement of his paintings. The brush strokes are like water, ebbing and flowing to form clouds and hills and trees and everything natural and beautiful. 

It's especially prevalent when I take high-res detail shots.  I could spend hours looking just at this one piece of art, which I almost did while sitting here going through the photos I took! 

This time of year, designers like to focus on colors that are light, airy, beachy and cool. Don't get me wrong, these are tones I love to use, but there's something so comforting about the warmth in this painting.  When I've had my fill of minty greens and ocean infused blues, I like to take a breather with pieces like this.

The bright pops of crimson red and yellow ochre play so beautifully against the earth tones found throughout the painting.  I'd love to be in that little cottage overlooking the cascading hills. Painting envy anyone?

The fields the farmer tends to are surprisingly melancholy. It's easy for me to tell this painting is of the autumn months, just based on his use of color. I imagine there's something deeper happening with this piece.  The note beside the painting mentioned van Gogh painted this shortly after recuperating from a nervous breakdown.  The top half of the painting is so bright and lively and warm, while the lower half is raging with darker, stressed brush strokes.  Perhaps this alludes to how Van Gogh felt at the time, but either way, the color composition is beautifully balanced.

Here are the colors that resonated with me most from this classic Van Gogh piece.  Who knows if I'll end up painting furniture with any of these tones, but either way, they make me think more creatively and inspire me to study color more and focus on timeless pieces from the greats.